One in three destinations worldwide are completely closed to international tourism, latest data from the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) shows.

Many governments have reversed efforts to ease restrictions on travel due to the emergence of new variants of Covid-19.

Total closures to tourists are most prevalent in Asia, the Pacific and Europe.

The persistent seriousness of the epidemiological situation has caused governments to adopt a more cautious approach with 32% of all destinations – 69 in total – are shut for international tourism.

Of these, around just over half – 38 destinations – have been closed for at least 40 weeks. At the same time, 34% of worldwide destinations are now partially closed to international tourists.

The research findings coincide with the UK imposing a £200 fine on passengers travelling by sea, air or rail to or from outside the Common Travel Area if they do not provide evidence of their exemption from current blanket restrictions on non-essential travel.

The latest UNWTO travel restrictions report covers 217 global destinations.

Of the 69 destinations where borders are completely closed to tourists, 30 are in Asia and the Pacific, 15 are in Europe, 11 are in Africa, 10 are in the Americas and three are in the Middle East.

At the same time, the research also indicates a trend towards adopting a more nuanced, evidence and risk-based approach to implementing travel restrictions.

Growing numbers of destinations now require international tourists to present a negative PCR or antigen test on arrival and also provide contact details for tracing purposes.

As many as 32% of all worldwide destinations now have the presentation of such tests as their main requirement for international arrivals often combined with quarantine, while the same amount have made tests a secondary or tertiary measure, according to the UNWTO.

Analysis of the top ten tourism source markets advising against non-essential travel abroad found they generated 44% of all international arrivals in 2018.

Advice issued by governments will play a “crucial role” in the restart and recovery of tourism in the weeks and months ahead.

UNWTO secretary-general Zurab Polilikashvili said: “Travel restrictions have been widely used to restrict the spread of the virus.

“Now, as we work to restart tourism, we must recognise that restrictions are just one part of the solution.

“Their use must be based on the latest data and analysis and consistently reviewed so as to allow for the safe and responsible restart of a sector upon which many millions of businesses and jobs depend.”